Meet Kevin Jackson, the black Tea Party activist disgusted at the prejudices of Obama’s supporters
Kevin Jackson talks a lot of sense. He also says things that make you wonder if your ears are playing up. As the newest star of the Tea Party circuit gives you his views on Obama, Palin and David Cameron, you repeatedly ask yourself, ‘Did he just say what I think he said?’
I am interviewing Jackson, a Republican blogger and author of The Big Black Lie, a critique of liberal America, because I heard him on US television saying that voting for Obama was racist. ‘They wanted the black president,’ he told Fox News. ‘Racists that they are, they voted for the man because he’s black, not because he’s qualified.’
There is no way Jackson, a national spokesman for theteaparty.net, could have got away with saying this if he were not also black, which might in itself be a racist situation. I ask him to explain himself. ‘Voting for Obama in the normal sense is not racist,’ says Jackson, who is speaking to me via Skype from his home in St Louis, Missouri. ‘The problem is the majority of the people who did vote for Obama were voting for him on one condition and that condition is he’s black and that is racism. My issues with Obama are that if you take colour off Obama’s resumé and look at his ability to run the country, there is no way he would have been elected. If Barack Obama were anything other than half black, if he were half Chinese or half Irish, there is no way on God’s earth that he would have got elected. He got elected based on colour and that is ridiculous.’
Most politicians would call it a day there, but Jackson is just getting started. ‘We act as if the dude is an idiot savant. He’s going to spend $6.2 trillion, more money than the US has ever spent, and people don’t want to argue with him? Why? Because he’s black. If he was purple we would be discussing how he’s doubling public spending.’
Jackson passionately believes that racism resides with the left, on the basis that liberals patronise black people and keep them helpless. Raised by his grandparents after his mother died when he was five (his father was a drug addict), Jackson is a devotee of the school that says people should drag themselves up by their bootstraps. His family were poor, but they paid their way. Jackson studied hard, worked for technology firms and became a management consultant.
He claims to have had death threats from union leaders who accuse him of betraying his race and legitimising extreme fringes of Republicanism. ‘They don’t like a black man who’s exposing the game,’ he says. But surely he must have got some funny looks at Tea Party rallies when he first climbed on to the stage? ‘Well, I was at a rally the other day and a tattooed guy came up to me and said “Mr Jackson, I’m one of those knuckle-dragging Neanderthals you described, but you made me think”.’
Jackson likes making people think. He tells me that the riots in England were down to a ‘cancerous’ ideology that teaches people to be victims. ‘Essentially the riots were just a reason for people who are too lazy to have accomplished something for themselves to have an excuse to take from somebody else. Those guys believe that something is owing to them. They have been taught this by the left.’
Jackson doesn’t believe excuses should be made for anyone who destroys their own neighbourhood, black or white. He tells a joke, and I attach a warning to it before you read it. It may cause offence to the politically correct.
‘People ask the question: If you see six black kids with their pants hanging down their butt, would you cross the street? And 99 per cent of white folks say, “Yeah, I’d cross the street”. But when they put the same question to black people, 99 per cent of black people said, “Yeah, I’d cross the street”. Oh, and the 1 per cent that wouldn’t, they got robbed.’
Jackson is passionately against quotas, and shakes his head as he tries to make sense of why David Cameron used an ‘A-list’ of parliamentary candidates to ensure more female and ethnic minority MPs.
‘He’s a person who has no core. He’s a fake. He’s completely fraudulent as a conservative because conservatives do not look at people and say “We need this many Asians and this many women…” That is the truest test of a conservative. They judge people on the content of their character.’
Jackson believes Britain is going in the wrong direction by obsessing about minority groups. ‘Instead of having this esprit de corps about what’s best for Britain, you have what’s best for the gay lobby, for example, or all these other splinter groups.’
Don’t even get him started on the issue of Islamisation. ‘They call it Londonistan, right? It’s crazy. You suffer from what I term battered woman syndrome. You have submitted to their culture. You guys are on a precipice. You may have tipped the scales too far already. It may be difficult to get the genie back in the bottle. There is going to be hell to pay and the liberals don’t get it. Ironically, we on the right could probably live with their Islamic laws a lot easier than the liberals.’ He’s laughing so I assume he’s joking. But I tell him to be careful when he’s talking about Islam on this side of the pond.
‘Oh, let them come and get me. I get death threats but I’m not running. I tell it like it is. And the Brits better get more William Wallaces because all your cordiality is going to land you in trouble.’
Jackson is a big tent Reaganite. He admires Lady Thatcher — ‘a real conservative’. But you get the feeling he despairs of his own side as it hunts for a presidential candidate. Mitt Romney, he says, is ‘Cameronesque’. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann are short on political savvy and Rick Perry has ‘one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel’. But he defends absolutely Palin’s appeal. ‘She’s scary to liberal women because she’s all that and a bag of chips.’
He points out that lack of intellectual rigour is not the preserve of the Republican Party. Joe Biden, he says, is ‘nuttier than squirrel do-do’. And if you worried about Palin having her finger on the nuclear trigger, well, ‘Obama’s got his finger on it and he’s never going to push it whatever happens.’
One mention of the O word and he’s off: ‘You can have him. He’s as useless as a screen door on a submarine.’ But who does he want as an alternative? ‘I want the most beat-up, bloodiest candidate left standing.’
Would he ever run for office? He laughs: ‘I always tell people, don’t ever vote for me. I’m way too radical.’